Through the first 10 rounds of the RotoGraphs Ridiculously Early Mock Draft, a draft for a single-catcher league, we saw a total of eight backstops come off the board. In an effort to see how our picks matched up with public opinion, we’ve been comparing the results to ADP found on both Mock Draft Central (MDC) and the National Fantasy Baseball Championship (NFBC). However, given how unreliable MDC data is right now due to small sample sizes and the fact that they don’t differentiate between one and two-catcher league mocks, we’re basically casting that ADP data aside and just matching up with that from the NFBC, a two-catcher league draft. With the current depth at the position, it should have been safe to assume that the top backstops would go a bit earlier in our draft than in the NFBC, however, in looking back at the comparisons, that was not the case. In fact, save for everyone agreeing that Buster Posey was a consensus late-first round pick, nothing went as expected.
If you clicked back on the link above you’ll see just how “all over the place” we actually were. Joe Mauer and Yadier Molina both went earlier as they perhaps should have, but 32 and 38 picks earlier? Matt Wieters and Miguel Montero each went within four picks of their NFBC ADP which, in a one-catcher league might be considered a tad late. And Carlos Santana, Wilin Rosario and Victor Martinez all went substantially after their ADP ranks. While I can’t speak for how everyone else was thinking, I can say that I felt like I could wait on Rosario because half the teams already had catchers and there were still at least three names out there who I thought would go before him and I was picking relatively close to the middle. By the time I hit the ninth round, I felt another catcher run possibly coming and just wanted to make sure I grabbed him. In looking back, I still feel like I made my move at the appropriate time even though V-Mart went a full round later.
And that brings us up to date…
Now here in Rounds 11-15, we saw three more catchers come off the board and here’s how they compared to their NFBC ADP:
Much later than usual? I suppose. But at this point in time during the draft, I feel like it becomes less of a concern, especially if you feel like the production from these four and possibly a few more that would be picked up later would all be close to the same. And given just the Bill James projections, they more or less are. So really, what’s the rush at this point?
Personally, I wouldn’t be that interested in McCann, what with the shoulder issues and the possible/probable decline, but if Napoli does, in fact, sign with the Red Sox, I’d be more than happy to have him or either Perez or Montero and really wouldn’t give it another thought. They each have their pros and cons, but in the end, the differences could be relatively negligible. Once you’re one of the last few people in a 12-team league who still needs a catcher, the only way you need to rush and grab one is if you start to see others grabbing their back-ups earlier than usual. And even then there’s not much of a rush needed. Just because one or two people may do that, it hardly means that others will follow suit, suddenly leaving you with nothing but Jose Molina and John Jaso from which to choose.
In the end, I’d have to say that the depth at the catcher position is actually pretty solid, especially if you’re playing in a 12-team, one-catcher league. It’s actually not too bad even in a 12-team, two-catcher league. The second wave of catchers might come a little sooner than you’d expect, but there are still about a half dozen more catchers out there that would make for satisfactory number ones, let alone secondary backstops. A 15-teamer, two-catcher league like the NFBC would have me acting quicker on my second catcher, for sure, but in shallower leagues, it looks like a position that you can wait on.